Use these simple steps to improve your bladder function during pregnancy.
By Isa Herrera, MSPT, CSCS, founder of www.PelvicPainRelief.com
50-60% of all pregnant women leak urine when they laugh, cough, sneeze or even change positions. They also suffer from the need to pee all the time and frequent nighttime trips to the bathroom. These symptoms affect their day-to-day function, energy levels, sex lives, and confidence. And guess what? Your bladder doesn’t have to control you. There are things you can do right now to have a happy bladder and to bring it back into harmony. Taking care of these bladder issues during the pregnancy is important because they often become worse once the baby arrives. Read on to discover three quick bladder fixes that are simple, and you can start doing right away.
Step one: what you eat impacts your bladder’s happiness
Certain foods and dehydration can cause the bladder to become unhappy. A well-hydrated bladder is a happy bladder. Many pregnant women often stop drinking water because they think the less I drink, the less I’ll pee. This not true! When one is dehydrated the bladder becomes irritated and angry. The bladder thrives and behaves when we are as hydrated as possible. Drink good filtered water throughout the day. Avoid drinking water all at once. It is best to break up your water drinking into several cups of water and aim for eight 8 oz of water and more if you live in hot climates or are exercising. Dehydration can also lead to preterm labor so hydration is important for healthy labor.
Lack of water is not the only thing that makes the bladder unhappy. Certain foods can make leaking and urge worse and it is best to avoid them until you can get your bladder back under control. These food and drinks include carbonated drinks, coffee, teas, fruit juices, artificial sugars, and chocolate can contribute to leaking, urge and bladder pain.
Step two: a well-trained bladder is happy
Pregnancy can put excessive pressure on the bladder because the baby sits right on top of the bladder. This pressure on the bladder creates the need to go to the bathroom all the time and disrupts its normal bladder behavior. To reduce urge and leaking it is vital to train the bladder back to health.
The bladder loves the consistency and timed voiding. Giving in to every urge to urinate disrupts the normal bladder behavior. So don’t do that. Good bladder fitness involves voiding every 3-4 hours with a urine stream that last up to 8 Mississippi’s if you were counting it. Now I know this might be hard during pregnancy which is why I created a special handout for you that gives you more information on how to have a happy bladder. Download Free Happy Bladder Checklist here.
To regain bladder control follow these simple tips. Instead of running to the bathroom slow down your pace and move slowly. Do not rush to the bathroom. Rushing to the toilet heightens the nervous system and can cause you to have a leaking accident. Slowing down and breathing very slowly and deeply relaxes the bladder and buys you more time to get to the bathroom dry.
Step three: what you wear affects your bladder function during pregnancy
Wearing high heels negatively affects pelvic alignment. The pelvis is the house of the bladder and uterus, so we want to keep the pelvis in optimal alignment. When the pelvis is out of alignment, the pelvic floor muscles lose their ability contract, relax and they become dysfunctional. It is important to remember that the pelvic floor muscles control bladder function. A dysfunctional pelvic floor loses its ability to control urine flow. We want to keep the pelvic floor muscles supple, strong and flexible not only for childbirth but also to bounce back faster the baby comes. Consider wearing flat shoes that have a supported arch especially if you are experiencing leaking, back or hip pain. If you must wear high heels then I recommend you use a supported pregnancy belt that goes under the belly and wraps around the back. Wearing a pregnancy supported belt will help relieve pelvic pressure and un-weigh the pelvis.
Discover more tip and tools that will keep your bladder happy by downloading my Free Happy Bladder Checklist by Clicking here.